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LinkIDAHO Mobile Broadband Test Project



No matter how many Traders Joe's, Whole Foods, Nordstrom's Outlets or (should fortune smile upon us) IKEAs make their way to Idaho, the state is, in many ways, the Wild West. A person can hike through trees so thick sunlight barely touches the ground, or paddle a canoe down a slow, lazy river without seeing another human. But just because we enjoy activities that hearken back to pioneer days doesn't mean we want to live that way. Yes, we want stand on the top of a mountain and pretend to be Thor, but we also want to be able to buy, download and watch Thor at home. A lack of broadband access across the Gem State prevents many an Idahoan from engaging in even the most common 21st century activities. LinkIDAHO is a new app that may help improve broadband access by using crowdsourcing to identify areas where coverage is compromised or unavailable. The app (available for Android and Apple devices) runs speed tests--manually and automatically, depending on configuration--and then uses the data to create a map, showing areas where access needs improvement. According to, better broadband means better "economic development, access to education and health care, enhanced public safety, improved government efficiencies, increased tourism, greater access to telework opportunities." It also means better access to Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad. It's good on so many levels.